Disclaimer: I don't own Sara Crewe , or the Indian gentleman, or her papa.
"You sent the things to me," she said, in a joyful emotional little voice, "the beautiful, beautiful things? YOU sent them!"
"Yes, poor, dear child, I did," he answered her. He was weak and broken with long illness and trouble, but he looked at her with the look she remembered in her father's eyes-that look of loving her and wanting to take her in his arms. It made her kneel down by him, just as she used to kneel by her father when they were the dearest friends and lovers in the world.
"Then it is you who are my friend," she said; "it is you who are my friend!" And she dropped her face on his thin hand and kissed it again and again.
"My dear," said the Indian gentleman in a low, broken voice, "I was your father's friend; and we knew each other and loved each other when we were boys playing together; and he trusted me, and I – I – " . He turned away slightly, his voice full of the pain and regret for that loss which haunted him.
Sara looked at him wonderingly, and saw that he was very upset - that his illness was that of the mind, which was tortured by the feeling of guilt he had been carrying all this time; and she felt moved to pity for his suffering; more so now when she knew it's cause, than when she had unknowingly prayed for his troubles to go away.
"But you did not mean to, did you?" She said, keeping her tiny work-worn paw on his hand, in that comforting, soothing way she had. "It was not your fault,and I am sure Papa must know that, can see how you grieve for him, and he would be hurt to see you ill and troubled." She looked away quickly, as her own grief, dimmed a little but never forgotten, suddenly seemed to overpower her, and she said in a low voice, "It used to hurt me a lot, in –", faltering, "- in the beginning, and I thought I could NEVER bear it. But I used to hold myself tight, and pretend that Papa was with me, and tell myself again and again that I had to endure – like a soldier, like Papa ".
His hand held hers tightly now, and they looked at each other with eyes filled with common loss and sorrow, known only by those who have truly loved and lost; which no one else can fully understand .
She smiled mistily at him, "I never spoke to anyone else about Papa, it hurt too much,you see. They couldn't understand. But you loved Papa too, so you know what it is like to miss him. He is always there in my heart, but –",her voice wavering, "– I cannot bear not belonging to anybody. "
"My dear, dear child," said the Indian gentleman, in a soft voice, "we belong to each other now. I will have my poor Ralph's 'Little Missus' to comfort me and she will have her 'Uncle Tom' to pet her and love her and make her feel like a princess. Won't I, Sara?"
She smiled at him; that dark head rested on his knee, and he caressed those curls; both filled with the peace of having found someone to fill those aching, lonely parts of their hearts,which had been bereft of love for so long.
A/N: Just continued that bit from the book, to see how they would talk about her papa.
Though it may seem otherwise,the relationship between Sara and Uncle Tom and/or Uncle Tom and her papa is completely chaste and platonic. I have just tried to express the above in Sara's way - her child-like, simple world was not as complicated as ours - and the love they talk about is not of the romantic variety.
Please tell me your views!
Pearl Bramble of Willowbottom: I completely agree with you on this - it's so hard, once we grow up and know what goes on in the world, to regain that innocent perspective again. I,too,felt it may have come across that way when I re-read it, but I had to be true to F.H Burnett's style too. Thank you so much for reviewing, and for the tip about the disclaimer. :)